HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Anywhere Similar to Rendezvous?

For the past six years Rendezvous has been the go to restaurant for my bf's parents when they come to visit. Price point, location, service, food and cocktails were perfect after their 5 hours in the car. Are there similar restaurants in the Cambridge/Watertown area? I was thinking Strip T's, but is there anywhere else? Not Oleana, Hungry Mother, Craigie's or West Bridge.

Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I really liked and will miss Rendezvous. EVOO and Catalyst might do. While I like the food at Strip T's it isn't a "relaxing" place: often loud and not very comfortable physically especially that downstairs bathroom!

    1 Reply
    1. re: teezeetoo

      Yeah, I was including Strip T's because of food, location, and service. Somewhere with consistency, easy to park, and takes reservations on a Friday. But I did forget about the noise and comfort level.

      1. re: LeoLioness

        Bergamot is what I was thinking. Also, Sycamore in Newton, but that might be further than you want to go.

        1. re: johndory

          Sycamore is already on the list of possibile restaurants, I'll have to add Bergamot. Parking and location are what made me hesitant to add Bergamot. But price and menu both look good.

          1. re: viperlush

            according to their website, Bergamot has off street parking.

            1. re: viperlush

              Madrid is correct. There is a parking lot for Bergamot at night, entrance is off of Beacon. I really wanted to love Bergamot like we loved Rendezvous, but just don't.

              1. re: viperlush

                I can't speak to the parking lot situation (I walk or take the bus there) but I thought of it because like Rendezvous, I consider it solid with excellent service, but not trendy, young or particularly loud. Where it falls short of Rendezvous is a more limited menu, especially in the bar area.

                Someone here once described the atmosphere as like a wedding reception and I can't say I disagree, but sometimes that's preferable to something more chaotic, particularly with older people.

          2. What about East Coast Grill? They have a lot across the street for night/weekend parking. Although Chris Schlesinger is out of the picture, it still resonates with his vibe, and some of the menu classics. The grilled white pepper-crusted tuna remains outstanding.

            6 Replies
            1. re: MaxEntropy

              Unfortunately ECG, which used to be a favorite of mine, is a far cry from Rendezvous in many, many respects.

              1. re: MaxEntropy

                For others looking for a substitute maybe, but ECG is one of my least favorite restaurants in the area.

                1. re: viperlush

                  Perhaps I'm overly sentimental about ECG (my first/blind date with my wife was there), but I still get a thrill out of the tuna taco. And the grilled banana sundae with mango ice cream and caramel. And the kitschy light-up lava in the Tiki Room. And a better than decent Margarita.

                  1. re: MaxEntropy

                    Even in its best days, there was nothing particularly Rendezvouish about East Coast Grill.

                    1. re: Blumie

                      The styles were different but Steve Johnson and Chris Schlesinger cooked together and shared quite a few recipes so I would say once upon a time ECG could hold its own though the venues were never alike. Loved the old ECG and loved Rendezvous.

                      1. re: teezeetoo

                        In thinking about it, one thing the places did share was the quality of the service and the dedication of the staff.

              2. Puritan & Company? Slightly higher price point, different culinary frame of reference.. On our last visit (last year), we recognized one of our waitstaff from Rendezvous, actually. I assume you're not interested in Harvard Square due to parking issues.

                4 Replies
                1. re: youngho

                  I was thinking Puritan & Co too. Accessible but interesting food, really delicious, comfortable enough for parents.

                  1. re: youngho

                    I could do Harvard Square, but not really interested in Harvest, Beat Hotel, Russell House or Ten Tables. A&h is a possibility though.

                    1. re: viperlush

                      Right, you guessed what I was thinking, but parking can be a little tricky. Price point will also end up being a little higher after adding up the small plates, but the service, food, and cocktails are simply fantastic. Although we liked the room, too, we can't speak to the noise factor because we do tend to eat on the earlier side with our children.

                  2. Rialto? Arlen?

                    in Boston, Asta, ICOB

                    You have ruled out Craigie's, but that is really the closest match in my opinion.

                    4 Replies
                      1. Is there a particular reason to rule out Oleana? If not, maybe Sarma?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: addiez

                          Uncomfortable seating, loud, and have never had a good complete meal there. Bf's dad also has a garlic allergy and it can be difficult to find something. No real interest in Sarma. But I do agree that Oleana is similar to Rendezvous, and is frequently recommended by other Chowhounds ( including myself) as an alternative.

                          1. re: viperlush

                            The tables inside are crowded, but their terrace is very pleasant on a nice day.

                            1. re: viperlush

                              never had a bad meal at oleana myself, but then I don't go for the entrees.

                          2. Blue Room is pretty close along all your parameters

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: jajjguy

                              Except there isn't a clear consensus on Chowhound that the food and service have improved. And after a bad brunch there 5 yr ago and frequent disappointment with the grilled lunch, I hesitate to bring guests there. But I agree that if they were more consistent, that they would be a good substitute for Rendezvous.

                              1. re: viperlush

                                Really since Steve Johnson left the Blue Room has been in a long slow decline. I haven't seen Nick Z. in the place in ages, which is a contributing factor.

                                1. re: MaxEntropy

                                  Agree. With the departure of Jorge Lopez (and Reggie St. Paul on the bar) the food and service has slid waaaaaaay down IMO. We went three weeks ago - just to see if perhaps our beloved old favorite had maybe - just maybe - revived. And it hadn't. The service at the bar was laughable, and the food was *just* OK. Sad.

                                  1. re: Small Plates

                                    Wow, lots of un-love for Blue Room. It's never been at the top of my list, but I've been in now and then over the years, mainly at the bar for a drink and a plate or two. Good drinks, wine list, nice vibe at the bar, food can go either way. Pretty much what I thought of Rendezvous, actually.

                              2. re: jajjguy

                                Except for food quality, and the overall cheeriness of the room.